As part of its fall semester orientation of more than 300 new students in a dozen different degree programs, USC Mann debuted Project Wellness, an initiative to shape a culture of well-being for the school community.
“Project Wellness was developed as part of the school’s ongoing initiatives in inclusion, and we strive to find fun and healthy ways to help all members of our Trojan Family show up as their whole, best selves,” says Melissa Durham, assistant dean of diversity, equity and inclusion, who spearheaded the initiative. “Looking ahead, we’ve planned a school-wide step challenge, weekly yoga classes and mindfulness sessions, as well as a variety of lunch-and-learn programs.”
Incoming students were invited to participate in sessions that included mind-body yoga practice, guided meditation, coloring and a walking tour of the Health Sciences Campus. Handlers and therapy dogs from the LAX Pets Unstressing Passengers (PUP) program, a volunteer organization based at Los Angeles International Airport, also visited campus to help welcome new students.
“It’s nice to see the school prioritize our well-being,” Alex Shahverdian, PharmD ’23, said. “I definitely look forward to more of these events to break up the routine of school.”